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Second Baby Shower: OK or No Way?

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Guest blogger Jessica Katz: Having a shower for your second baby appears to be one of the bigger baby taboos out there. People have very firm opinions on this topic, and the majority of them say baby showers are for first babies only. Some people soften, though, and say that having a shower for a first baby with a new partner or a baby of a different sex is acceptable. Only a small group of optimists say that every baby should get a celebration. I have found that most people feel that a second shower is greedy and tacky.

baby shower
Why am I so interested, you ask? Well ... I am pregnant with my second child. And while I am not yet sure of the sex, if it is a boy, I will need new stuff -- blue stuff. This is because I have a girl who was adorned in very feminine products and clothing. However, my kids will only be 18 months apart, and therefore, having a baby shower yet again just to score these boy items feels a bit excessive.

My mom had her fourth child at 43, and I threw her a baby shower. People were delighted to come. First off, she hadn't had a child in ten years, and she had never had a shower before. She'd also had me 20 years earlier, when she presumably had a different social circle. She loved the party, and I loved throwing it.

According to etiquette, it is never truly improper to have a baby shower, because the party is supposed to be about a lot more than gifts. It is to celebrate the new addition to the world. And you can have themed showers to incorporate that (i.e., an "It's a Boy!" shower or a "Pamper Mom" shower where the gifts are for the mom).

Party planner Jaime Geffen of the Los Angeles-based company YourBASH! thinks that you should have a second shower if you are having a baby of a different sex -- and that the mommy deserves a party, too. "You need new things," she says. "You don't necessarily have to fully register, but you can get a few new baby items. And if you don't feel comfortable getting gifts, people can donate to a charity. It is more about the idea of gathering for a baby shower to celebrate the baby. Every new mom should have a party; it makes you feel good to have your friends around you. If I have a second baby, I will have one!"

I'm undecided on the issue as of yet, but I still have some time. I tend to be superstitious about having too many baby things in the house, and truth be told, I already have most of it. But in my opinion, any excuse to get all the people you love into one room to celebrate is a good idea!

Moms, what do you think?

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28 comments so far | Post a comment now
Nancy January 2, 2011, 8:01 AM

My daughter is expecting her 2nd boy any day now. They will be 2 years apart. I think we feel that a full-blown babyshowe would breach ettiquette so her sister arranged a “sprinkle” (which was a new word for me!) Basically a small group of about 10, mostly both grandmothers, aunt and about 6 very close friends to a restaurant for lunch Presents were very practical, such as several boxes of Pampers and a few new outfits for the new baby, which is due in the winter and his brother was born in August. We all had a good time celebrating the mom and new baby, without the silly baby shower games and huge group of people. Hence, a sprinkle vs a shower!

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Kirsten January 14, 2011, 1:40 AM

My best friend is having her 4th child and I’m throwing a shower for her. It was stated in the invitations that no gifts were expected, but everyone who rsvp’d said they definitely wanted to do something since this is her first girl in 7 years and her last baby was a boy, 3 years ago (and she didn’t have a shower for any of her son -or any of the kids- because he sister convinced her that it’s tacky to do that for a 3rd baby.)

I think it’s greedy if whoever is throwing the shower is demanding gifts, but I threw this more as a, “hey, I really love you and your kids and I want you to have a wonderful day where people fawn over you for your final baby.” Her sister, on the other hand, after doling out advice about 2nd or 3rd baby showers, had a baby shower when her 2nd baby - another boy 11 months after the first one was born.

It really depends on the person, I think.

showerlessmomma January 14, 2011, 8:32 AM

I didn’t have a shower for my first baby, it was an awkward time for the family, with a lot going on. Now our son is 20 months and we are expecting again. I really want a shower this time, and was shocked that so many people were against it online. It isn’t about the gifts, it’s about the celebration.

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La May 29, 2011, 6:58 PM

Glad I found this page, and the replies are helpful. My sister just rang and said she is throwing me a baby shower. I told her that I can’t have one because it’s my second baby.. and she told me that’s nonsense and insisted that she IS throwing me one. This is my second marriage, and my son is going to be close to 6 years old when the new baby (which is also a boy) is born. Although we don’t have anything we need for the baby, I would never ever expect gifts. In fact, we are getting married in 5 weeks, and put on the invites no gifts - we just don’t like being fussed over! lol But reading through the replies here, I think it seems the general consensus is that it’s ok to have a second baby shower. (My mother in law will be very happy since this is her sons first child!)

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